JP2006505969A - A communication system that provides broadband communication using medium-voltage cables in power systems - Google Patents

A communication system that provides broadband communication using medium-voltage cables in power systems Download PDF

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JP2006505969A
JP2006505969A JP2004507157A JP2004507157A JP2006505969A JP 2006505969 A JP2006505969 A JP 2006505969A JP 2004507157 A JP2004507157 A JP 2004507157A JP 2004507157 A JP2004507157 A JP 2004507157A JP 2006505969 A JP2006505969 A JP 2006505969A
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plt
communication system
station
controller
downstream
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Japanese (ja)
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イー. コップ,ローウェル
ジー. ハント,フィリップ
エム. リレイ,ポール
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アンペリオン,インコーポレイティド
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Application filed by アンペリオン,インコーポレイティド filed Critical アンペリオン,インコーポレイティド
Priority to PCT/US2003/017002 priority patent/WO2003100996A2/en
Publication of JP2006505969A publication Critical patent/JP2006505969A/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B3/00Line transmission systems
    • H04B3/54Systems for transmission via power distribution lines
    • H04B3/58Repeater circuits
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B3/00Line transmission systems
    • H04B3/54Systems for transmission via power distribution lines
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B3/00Line transmission systems
    • H04B3/54Systems for transmission via power distribution lines
    • H04B3/542Systems for transmission via power distribution lines the information being in digital form
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B2203/00Indexing scheme relating to line transmission systems
    • H04B2203/54Aspects of powerline communications not already covered by H04B3/54 and its subgroups
    • H04B2203/5429Applications for powerline communications
    • H04B2203/5441Wireless systems or telephone
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B2203/00Indexing scheme relating to line transmission systems
    • H04B2203/54Aspects of powerline communications not already covered by H04B3/54 and its subgroups
    • H04B2203/5429Applications for powerline communications
    • H04B2203/5445Local network
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B2203/00Indexing scheme relating to line transmission systems
    • H04B2203/54Aspects of powerline communications not already covered by H04B3/54 and its subgroups
    • H04B2203/5462Systems for power line communications
    • H04B2203/5466Systems for power line communications using three phases conductors
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B2203/00Indexing scheme relating to line transmission systems
    • H04B2203/54Aspects of powerline communications not already covered by H04B3/54 and its subgroups
    • H04B2203/5462Systems for power line communications
    • H04B2203/5479Systems for power line communications using repeaters
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L27/00Modulated-carrier systems
    • H04L27/26Systems using multi-frequency codes
    • H04L27/2601Multicarrier modulation systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L5/00Arrangements affording multiple use of the transmission path
    • H04L5/0001Arrangements for dividing the transmission path
    • H04L5/0003Two-dimensional division
    • H04L5/0005Time-frequency
    • H04L5/0007Time-frequency the frequencies being orthogonal, e.g. OFDM(A), DMT

Abstract

Using medium pressure (MV) cables (500), RF signals are transmitted within a network segment (10) that includes one distribution center (PLT controller) (20) and multiple power line communication (PLT) stations (30). A broadband service communication system (8) for carrying. The PLT controller (20) comprises a distribution modem (62), which distributes downstream and upstream RF signals to and from the PLT station (30) through the coupler, through the MV cable (500). Transport. Each PLT station (30) is equipped with a modem (32) that carries downstream and upstream RF signals via couplers, e.g. 1 media signal via a radio link. To one or more customer premises equipment (CPE). The PLT controller (20) controls each PLT station (30) with respect to upstream communication, transfer of all downstream communication, and control. The PLT controller (20) is connected to the WAN (90) via the router (80), and can carry a media signal to and from the WAN (90).

Description

This patent application is based on US Provisional Patent Application No. 60 / 383,838, filed May 28, 2002, and is subject to the provisions of 35 USC § 119 (e). Claims priority to the application.
The present invention uses one or more medium voltage cables of the power distribution network (Power Line Communication: PLC), that is, one or more medium voltage cables of the power distribution network while supplying power generated by the power generation system through the power distribution network. The present invention relates to providing broadband communication services.

(Overview)
The present invention relates to a communication service using a power distribution network. Hereinafter, the general background of the power generation system used to supply power to the distribution network, the general background of the transmission system, the transmission system, the distribution network, and the background related to power line communication (ie, distribution of information using the distribution network) Provide information.

(Power generation system)
Power is supplied to users around the world using three separate grids. Typically, a power generation system located in a power generation facility uses a generator to convert some form of position or kinetic energy into electricity. These generators are usually powered by combustion, hydropower, wind power, or nuclear power.

(Transmission system)
The power transmission system is usually electrically connected to the power generation system, and supplies the generated electricity over a long distance from the power generation system to the place where electricity is consumed. The transmission system is composed of a transformer that generates high voltage (HV) (in the art, 60,000 to 1,000,000 volts) from the generated power. The power transmission system can transmit either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC), and what is called a “high voltage” electric wire (cable) is usually used for power transmission. The transmission system usually ends at one or more substations, which are located close to electricity consumers. In the transmission system, large transformers, overload and lightning protection devices, switches, and various network detection and control devices are used. Transmission lines are usually elevated and wires are usually made from uninsulated aluminum.

(Distribution network)
A distribution network is a series of electrical wires (cables) and components used to power individual consumers of electricity from a substation. Distribution networks typically use medium voltage (MV) (in the art, 4,000 to 50,000 volts), and most often use AC. . Then, a transformer arranged at a location convenient for the power supplier is connected to the MV power distribution system, and low voltage (LV) electricity of 90 to 600 volts is generated and delivered to the electricity consumer. It is. One LV transformer can power one customer, several customers, or hundreds of customers. The distribution system uses transformers, switches, re-throwers, lightning and fault protection devices, capacitors, meters, and other sensing and control devices. Distribution lines may be elevated and they may be insulated or non-insulated. The distribution line may also be an underground cable (cable), which typically includes a central power conductor surrounded by one or more coaxial ground leads.

  Distribution networks are often deployed in a tree-like topology, with tree roots located at substations and a main trunk called a “feeder” extending therefrom. Each feeder includes a plurality of branches, also referred to in the art as “Lateral”, which extend outward from the feeder. One lateral can be supplied to the other laterals. These feeders and laterals often extend more than 25 km (15.54 miles) from the substation.

  Quite often, the “leaves” of the tree, ie the outermost laterals, are geographically arranged in a loop, so that there are multiple paths from the substation to the consumer. Since these loops cause safety, fault detection and correction problems, they are usually open at one location, either by an automatic switch or a manual normal opening point. In the event of a power outage, closing this normally open circuit point and providing an alternative current path can reduce the number of consumers affected by the fault condition.

  Power line communication (PLC) is a technology for reusing these power transmission systems and distribution networks to supply information. As is well known in the art, PLC systems are used in customer premises (CP) networks, all operating on LV (low voltage) power, and on HV or MV transmission and / or distribution networks at the premises of electricity consumers. It is divided into two categories: access networks that operate in In the PLC system and apparatus, the information signal is superimposed on the 50 or 60 Hz power signal so that the power distribution apparatus is not affected by the additional signal.

  In the PLC, narrowband or wideband data transmission can be used. Narrowband PLCs have been used since the 1970s for the transmission and transmission of control and sensing signals in power transmission and distribution networks by (and for this purpose) the electric utility. In these systems, very often, in the zero crossing period of 50 or 60 Hz, high frequency pulses are generated and these pulses or their absence are used to convey information (eg, power meter Reading).

  For example, in a broadband PLC that carries information of 1 Mb / s or higher, spread spectrum or frequency hopping techniques are usually used. Such a technique is used because it is not easy to carry a signal exceeding 50 or 60 Hz, which was the original design target, through a power line. The higher the frequency, the faster it decays, especially the elevated wire is very noisy and has radio and television signals and other narrow and wideband noise. PLC modulation schemes are usually designed to avoid this noise statically or dynamically, because government electromagnetic interference regulations prohibit simple increases in PLC power levels above this noise level. It is also possible to adjust the signal manually or automatically to counter the signal attenuation caused by the various components of the transmission or distribution system.

  PLCs are often used to carry packetized data using protocols such as IP (Internet Protocol), TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), and UDP (User Datagram Protocol). Other protocols such as Appletalk can also be used. In these cases, the PLC network operates in the art in a repeater that operates in what is called Layer 1 of the ISO (International System Organization) OSI (Open System Interconnection) reference model, in OSI Layer 2. Operating in the data domain as a collection of data transfer elements including bridges or data switches that operate, routers operating in OSI layer 3 or gateways operating in OSI layers 4-7.

  In terms of topology, there are no constraints on matching this data network to a power transmission or distribution network. For example, data signals can propagate through a power line from a lateral or feeder toward a substation, but power never propagates in this way. Similarly, when the superimposed PLC data network is configured in a tree topology, the root node may correspond to or correspond to the root node (substation) of the distribution system. It does not have to be. In practice, the PLC network is known to use a protocol such as IEEE (International Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 802.1D spanning tree, RIP (Routing Information Protocol), or OSPF (Open Shortest Path First). By doing so, it is possible to determine the route of the packet in the PLC network using a loop or a complicated mesh topology.

  The PLC network can also carry non-packetized voice and video streams such as those used in telephony and cable television systems. The telephony stream can be formatted using standard telephony framing methods commonly known in the art as T1, E1, or SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) framing. For video signals, modulation, coding, and framing techniques such as NTSC (National Television System Committee), DVB (Digital Video Broadcast), or MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) can be used.

(PLC)
As described above, high-speed RF (radio frequency) communication such as broadband can be implemented on the medium-voltage power line of the distribution network under many restrictions. As can be seen from FIG. 1, the physical topology of this network resembles a tree branch. The root of the tree corresponds to a medium pressure feeder, which originates from a substation of the transmission system (ie, the point on the branch where the transmission system connects to the feeder). This feeder is a three-phase three-wire power line having a ground conductor. At various intervals in the downstream direction of the power line, branches emanate from the main feeder and further distribute power. These branches may be three phase, any two of the three phases, or single phase. These branches are terminated by the last transformer or other power distribution component required to supply power, and there are few other terminations. Various switching components (including manual switches, automatic recyclers and sectionizers, and fuses) are inserted at appropriate locations for line fault management and distribution control. The squares labeled “R” and “S” in FIG. 1 are a “reloader” and a “sectioner”. Reloaders and sectionizers are typical automatic switching devices. There may be other components (capacitors and regulator transformers) to adjust the power factor or voltage level along the line. And any of these components can provide a barrier to the propagation of RF signals, and additional equipment will be needed to create an RF bridge around them. The length of the power line from the root to the farthest branch tip may be 25 km or more. Due to the long-distance RF signal attenuation between stations (or RF barriers along the power line), some network stations may become unable to "listen" to other stations in the network. high. This last point means that a peer-to-peer network architecture is not suitable for this system.

  In a typical distribution network, a loop can be formed by closing the switch to restore power in a blackout area or for other reasons such as load balancing or line redundancy. Along the MV line, a voltage level of 4 to 30 KV on the medium voltage power line is stepped down to a range of 110 to 600 V on the low voltage (LV) power line by the distribution transformer.

  In particular, in a power line environment when using an overhead line, there is a lot of electrical noise, and there are many narrowband noise sources and considerable broadband noise. In a communication system operating in such an environment, any practical means for improving its noise immunity must be used.

  Power line noise and RF transmission characteristics vary depending on the weather and the degree and type of electrical load connected to the track. Certain power line topologies can create unique reflection patterns and resonant states that degrade the media with respect to communication usage. For this reason, MV power line communication systems must be adaptable to changes in environmental characteristics and must not rely on a single frequency (ie, must not be a narrowband system). I understand that.

  The main function of the power line is to supply power. The communication network must not compromise this function. Therefore, a communication device that cuts off any power conductor cannot be inserted into the line. From this it can be seen that it will be technically difficult to manufacture a coupling device that introduces an RF signal onto the power medium and extracts the RF signal from this medium. Also, because this medium is not useful for high frequency signal filtering, it is also difficult to separate RF signals from each other on the power line, and the low level protocol allows them to enter into network segments from other nearby segments. It must be able to identify and reject traffic leaks.

  Data communication on this power line is bi-directional and must function on a three-phase line and a single-phase line. That is, the constraint is that the direction on the line is reversed in a time-dependent manner during communication, with frequency domain multiplexing providing the necessary bidirectionality (used as an intrinsic half-duplex medium). Or, it means that the medium is used in a full duplex mode.

  The main function of this MV power line RF network is the function of the access network. Customers use communication access as a means for accessing the Internet and as a means of implementing a virtual private network on a shared medium, and the MV power line network is not a local area network.

  Therefore, it is advantageous and desirable to provide a broadband communication service on the medium voltage distribution network while satisfying the above constraints.

  In accordance with the present invention, a communication system is provided that provides broadband communication between a distribution center that cooperates to define a network segment and at least one remote location, and a medium voltage (MV) cable in a distribution system is connected to the network. Acting as a communication channel (medium) for the segment, the communication system comprises a power line communication (PLT) controller and at least one power line communication (PLT) station (30), the power line communication (PLT) controller comprising: A second (upstream) RF signal is received to generate a first (downstream) RF signal modulated by the (downstream) media signal and a second (upstream) media signal is extracted. Modem (62) for demodulating the MV cable, in cooperation with the MV cable, And a distribution modem including means (64, 66) for exciting the MV cable with the first (downstream) RF signal to receive a second (upstream) RF signal and power line communication in operative communication with the distribution modem A (PLT) controller module (23) for controlling the generation of a first (downstream) media signal to cause at least one of the at least one remote location to extract the first (downstream) media signal Means and a PLT controller module further comprising means for controlling generation of a second (upstream) media signal at at least one remote location, each of the at least one power line communication (PLT) station (30) The station extracts the first (downstream) media signal to extract the first ( A second modem (32) that demodulates the downstream (RF) RF signal, receiving the first (downstream) RF signal in cooperation with the MV cable and exciting the MV cable with the second (upstream) RF signal A second modem having means (34, 36) for performing and a PLT station module (31) operatively communicating with the second modem (32), wherein the extracted first (downstream) media signal is the PLT Means for accepting the extracted first (downstream) media signal when addressed to the station, and second (to be presented to the second modem for modulation thereof to form a second (upstream) RF signal. A PLT station module further comprising means for generating upstream) media signals, thereby providing a PLT controller The trawler controls the generation of all first (downstream) RF signals for delivery to at least one PLT station and the generation of second (upstream) RF signals from the at least one PLT station to the PLT controller. Is also controlled.

  Preferably, at least one of the first and second media signals is transmitted over a radio frequency link with a distribution modem.

  Injection of the communication signal into the power network and extraction from the power network are usually performed using a coupler. As is well known in the art, there are two common types of couplers. First, capacitive couplers use standard capacitive effects to link two signals at high frequencies while separating data and 0-60 Hz power signals. Capacitive couplers are electrically capacitors, with one plate attached to an HV, MV, or LV conductor and the other plate connected to a communication signal source or destination. This insulation between the plates of the capacitor provides insulation of the two networks.

  Another method of coupling is what is referred to in the art as “inductive coupling”, which separates data from a 0-60 Hz power signal while linking two signals at high frequencies. The standard electromagnetic effect is used. An inductive coupler is an electrical transformer, with one coil formed by an HV, MV, or LV conductor (one turn coil) and the other coil to a communication signal source or destination. It is connected. The insulation between the two coils provides insulation of the two networks.

PLC couplers typically link two networks at frequencies from 1 MHz to 50 MHz or higher and isolate the two networks at frequencies from DC to 100 Hz.
The radio signal may be of any format and transmits information (data).

  Preferably, the communication system further comprises customer premises equipment (CPE) at one or more remote locations, wherein the remote modem of at least one PLT station in the network segment is connected to the customer by a radio frequency link. At least one of the first and second medium signals is transmitted to the home device.

  It should be further noted that data networks can be connected by media such as coaxial cable, shielded and unshielded twisted pair wire, optical fiber, and by wireless links. One method for carrying packetized data wirelessly is defined by the IEEE 802 standards committee and is known in the art as 802.11. Three separate modulation and protocol sets are 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. These standards define the formats and protocols used in OSI layers 1 and 2 for carrying packetized data in a defined wireless network. The 802.11b and 802.11b protocols use the 2.4 GHz spectrum, and the 802.11a protocol uses the 5.8 GHz spectrum.

  The 802.11 standard provides two modes of operation: master / slave and peer-to-peer. In the master / slave mode of operation, a node desiring to use wireless carrier must work with an access point. That is, all data is carried to and from the access point, so that the data of the two wireless nodes that wish to communicate is directed from one node to the access point first and then to the other node. I have to head. On the other hand, no access point is used in the peer-to-peer mode of operation, also referred to in the art as “ad hoc”. In this case, all nodes can transmit data to the other node.

  The radio frequency link of the remote modem advantageously has a high frequency footprint equivalent to the physical footprint of the network segment.

  Advantageously, this communication system comprises a plurality of further network segments (10a, 10b, 10c ...); each connecting two network segments, from one network segment to another network segment. 1 further comprising means for receiving a forwarded first (downstream) RF signal and further comprising means for receiving a second (upstream) RF signal forwarded from another network segment to one network segment. One or more repeaters (50, 51);

  Advantageously, the PLT station of the first network segment and the PLT controller of the second network segment forming this repeater are housed in a computer and communicate with each other via the computer backplane.

  Alternatively, the PLT station of the first network segment and the PLT controller of the second network segment that form this repeater are physically separated from each other and communicate with each other via a communication link. This communication link is a wireless link or a wired link that is separate from the medium-voltage cable. In this specification, such a repeater is called an interlink.

  Advantageously, the communication system further comprises means for enabling the communication system to communicate with a wide area network, the means for communicating with the wide area network being a router operatively communicating with the PLT controller. . Advantageously, the router is located remotely from the PLT controller, and the PLT controller and the router communicate with each other via a wired link, such as a wireless link or a fiber optic link.

  Advantageously, the network segment can physically overlap at least part of the medium-voltage cable.

  The PLT controller preferably controls the upstream media signals of PLT stations in the network by controlling the allocation of time division multi-access time slots.

  Advantageously, each adjacent network segment uses a different area of the common physical layer coding scheme, which is a time division multi-access coding scheme or a frequency division This is an access scheme, and this frequency division multi-access encoding scheme is Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. Furthermore, the physical layer coding method is a code division multiple access with collision avoidance function (Code Division Multiple Access Avidance) or uses a wavelet. The present invention also provides a method for providing broadband communication between a distribution center and one or more remote locations in a communication network, the distribution center and the remote locations working together to define a network segment. The medium-voltage cable of the power distribution system functions as a communication channel (medium) for the network segment.

  The communication method according to the present invention comprises providing broadband communication between a distribution center that cooperates to define a network segment and at least one remote location, wherein a distribution medium voltage (MV) cable is connected to the network. A communication method that functions as a communication channel (medium) for a segment, wherein a first media signal is received at a distribution center to generate a first (downstream) RF signal modulated by a first (downstream) media signal. And demodulating the second (upstream) RF signal to extract the second (upstream) media signal, exciting the MV cable with the first (downstream) RF signal, and second on the MV cable. Receiving two (upstream) RF signals and at least one in at least one remote location Controlling the generation of a first (downstream) media signal to cause one to extract a first (downstream) media signal, and a second (for a remote location among at least one remote location) Controlling generation of a second (upstream) media signal at at least one remote location to direct generation of a second (upstream) RF signal that includes an upstream) media signal, At a remote location, if the first (downstream) RF signal is destined for the remote location, receiving the first RF signal and first (downstream) to extract the first (downstream) media signal Demodulating the RF signal; generating a second (upstream) media signal; and converting the RF signal to the second media signal Second to form a (upstream) RF signal by modulating, characterized in that it comprises the steps of pumping by the second (upstream) RF signal MV cable.

  The invention will become apparent by reference to the following description in connection with FIGS.

  FIG. 1 shows the physical topology of a typical distribution network 8. The incoming high voltage power is supplied by a high voltage transmission line 9. The distribution substation 11 receives this high voltage power and converts it into medium voltage (usually 4 to 50 kV) power. This medium pressure (MV) power is distributed by the MV feeder 19. A typical feeder can have a plurality of branches (referred to as “lateral” 21) as shown in FIG. These feeders can extend over many kilometers, for example 25 kilometers (15.54 miles).

  FIG. 1 also shows that a typical MV feeder includes various automatic switching devices such as a refiller (R) 13, a sectionizer (S) 15, and a cutting element 17. . As is well known in the art, the refiller functions like a circuit breaker to protect the feeder from overload. Sectionalizer 15 and cutting element 17 are usually switches that are used to isolate the faulty portion of the feeder and to reroute the path of the feeder line. Therefore, the general disconnection element 17 functions as a (NO) switch that is normally in an open circuit state, and when a failure occurs in the feeder path, the general disconnection element 17 receives MV power by instructing to close it. It is possible to provide an alternative route for the feeder to perform.

  As will be described later, any of these MV elements can cause obstacles to PLC communication.

  As shown in FIG. 2a, the basic building block for MV (medium voltage) power line communication (PLC) using the infrastructure of the distribution network 8 is a network segment 10, which is a single power line communication (PLT). ) Controlled by controller 20 and connected to one or more PLT stations 30 using MV power line cable 500. It should be noted that this PLC network segment is not necessarily the same as the distribution network 8 or its feeder 19. A network segment is a physical network implementation as well as a logical network structure. That is, this is a physical implementation in the sense that the segments are physically constructed using distribution lines or cables as physical communication media and can be connected (by a bridge). These segments can be overlapped or nested. This is also a logical network structure in the sense that the segment represents a data traffic management domain implemented by the MAC (Media Access Control) layer. The MAC layer protocol can incorporate a unique identifier (segment ID) to allow irrelevant frame leakage into the segment to be rejected, or alternatively, a segment member device using a MAC address It is also possible to identify traffic between.

  Preferably, both the PLT controller 20 and the PLT station 30 have IEEE 802.11x radio ports that can be used to connect to the radio ground station 40 (where x is a specific IEEE radio standard (eg, meaning any of a, b, or g)). By connecting one PLT station 30 to another segment PLT controller 20, as shown in FIGS. 2b, 3 and 4, without using a PLC communication medium (MV cable) A repeater 50 can be formed that allows the transfer of downstream and upstream communications from one segment to another. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 6b, depending on the situation, the RF signal on the MV cable may be affected by PLT switch equipment (re-inserter 13, sectionizer 15, cutting element 17) and other environmental factors. A failure 53 may occur in the transfer (however, AC power can flow). The interlink 51 is used to bridge such areas of RF interference. An interlink is the same as a repeater, but typically a PLT station and a PLT controller are physically separated from each other and a wireless communication link 530 is used between them. As a result, the wireless communication link 530 effectively spans the RF failure so that the interlink connecting one network segment to another network segment, regardless of the physical length of the RF failure, RF interference can be bridged. Alternatively, the communication link 530 may be wired (electrical or optical). In the case of using a conductive wire, the conductive link is not in electrical contact with the MV cable 502.

  As shown in FIG. 3, even when the RF blocking filter 25 is inserted between network segments (eg, 10a and 10b) on the MV cable, these network segments can be obtained by using the repeater 50. Can be connected. Note that such an RF barrier may be economically feasible at some point for the purpose of separating high frequency signals from adjacent network segments. At present, however, such RF barriers are not economically feasible, so at least the RF signals of adjacent network segments overlap, and accordingly, the network segments themselves They can overlap and / or be nested inside each other. Communicating between network segments still requires a repeater, because each RF signal (download or upload) contains information that associates the signal with the network segment from which it was generated If there is no repeater, it will be ignored by different network segments. With such a repeater, broadband communication services can be provided across multiple network segments.

  Typically, network segments are polarized by FDMA (Frequency Domain Multi-Access) assignment to form downstream and upstream channels. The PLT controller transmits all data (often referred to herein as a “media signal”) in the downstream direction to the PLT stations on that segment. On the other hand, the PLT station only transmits to the PLT controller of those segments in the upstream direction. Both the PLT controller and the PLT station are typically full-duplex devices on the power line network, but the half-duplex implementation of the controller and station will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art of PLC communications. A PLT station only communicates with the PLT controller for that network segment, unless it forms part of a repeater 50 or interring 51, and if it forms part of a repeater or interring. The PLT station can further communicate with its repeater or interlink PLT controller via a forwarding mechanism. As mentioned above, such transfer mechanisms include backplane-based communications using computer bus architectures well known in the art (wireless communications (eg, 802.11x) as well as cases) Depending on the wire communication (eg optical fiber or conductor wire using high speed serial link).

  In the power business, it is usually desirable to avoid fiber optic cables between PLT equipment and ground stations. That is, wireless connection is preferable. However, fiber optic cables and other techniques could also be used.

  The network segment 10 is a basic building block of a communication system according to the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2a, one controller 20 manages each network segment 10, including control of access by the associated PLT station 30 related to packet transmission on the network segment. It is. The PLT controller 20 can be connected to the headend ground station 40 ′ by a wireless link 530. The headend ground station 40 'linked to the controller 20 typically includes a communication link (such as a fiber optic cable 560) to the router 80 to provide access to a wide area network 90 such as the Internet. Multiple PLT controllers can each have such access to the wide area network.

  A ground station 40 linked to the PLT station 30 (eg, via a wireless link) is typically through a wireless link or other short range link (eg, fiber optic, Ethernet, low voltage power line communication segment). Linked to customer premises equipment (CPE) 57 (see FIG. 4) (note that only three ground stations are shown linked to CPE 57, but this is the other ground shown. It is also applicable to stations). As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the PLT station 30 typically communicates directly with customer premises equipment (CPE) 57 via a wireless transceiver module 27 that is included in both the PLT station and the CPE. It is also possible. Furthermore, as shown in FIGS. 2b and 3, the repeater 50 is a PLT station 30 for extending broadband service from one segment to another without the need for a radio link or ground station. And a PLT controller 20.

  As shown in FIG. 4, the interlink 51 has a PLT station 30 in the network segment 10a and a PLT controller 20 in the network segment 10b, which includes a sectionizer “S”. And possibly communicating with each other over the wireless link 530 to bypass both of the blocking filters 25 (BF), and using them as described above, one network segment (10a) Can be prevented from interfering with the RF signal of the adjacent network segment (10b or 10c). Similarly, another interlink 51 can be used to bypass RF interference. In the absence of RF interference, a repeater 50 such as that shown in FIG. 6a can be used to achieve communication between these two network segments.

  FIG. 5 illustrates various communication components within a communication system that provides broadband communication between a distribution center (PLT controller 20) and one or more remote locations 29. Although only one PLT station 30 is shown in FIG. 5, the network segment 10 can be formed by associating a plurality of PLT stations with the PLT controller 20. The network segment 10 includes a distribution center 60 at a first location 910 where the PLT controller 20 is located, and at least one PLT station 30 at one or more remote locations 930. As shown in FIG. 5, one medium-voltage cable 502 of the power distribution system functions as a communication channel (medium) of the network segment 10. However, it is also possible to function as a communication channel (medium) using a plurality of medium-voltage cables 500 (see FIG. 3). The controller 20 includes a distribution modem 62 that receives the media signal 610 from the PLT controller module 23. The modem modulates a radio frequency (RF) signal with a media signal 610 to form a downstream modulated RF signal 612. The high frequency signal 610 may be any type of information (data) including audio and video data and other types of data. The PLT controller also includes a first coupler 64 that is mounted on the medium voltage cable 502 and connected to the distribution modem 62 to inductively excite the medium voltage cable by the downstream modulated RF signal 612. ing. Although inductive coupling is shown, it is also possible in the art to use capacitive coupling to excite MV cables with information or to receive such information from MV cables. It is well known. The PLT controller 60 also includes a second coupler 66, which allows the distribution modem 62 to extract a media signal (not shown) from the upstream modulated RF signal 622 by demodulation. Inductive excitation is possible by the upstream modulated RF signal 622 on the pressure cable 502.

  As shown in FIG. 5, the PLT station 30 at the remote location 930 includes a third coupler 34 connected to the remote modem 32 to receive the downstream media signal 610 from the downstream modulated RF signal 612, and an upstream A fourth coupler 36 connected to the remote modem 32 to transmit the modulated RF signal 622 over the medium voltage cable 502 is included.

  The PLT controller 20 controls each of the PLT stations 30 in the network segment 10 in connection with upstream communication. Each PLT station is then typically wireless with the PLT station module 31 to carry upstream and downstream media signals to the customer premises equipment 70 over a radio frequency link, eg, via an IEEE 802.11a radio port. A transceiver module 27 is further included. Note that the radio frequency link of the radio transceiver module 27 can have a physical footprint 700 equivalent to that of the network segment 10.

  PLT controllers typically control downstream and upstream communications with PLT stations by controlling time slots of the time division multiplexing (TDM) protocol. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, these TDM techniques are used in a master / slave relationship. The PLT controller maintains one or more poll lists having associated addresses (identifiers) of PLT stations that wish to communicate with the PLT controller. The PLT station then provides access based on asynchronous contention so that it can join the poll list when it wishes to communicate with the PLT controller.

  That is, the PLT controller can transfer the first RF signal to the designated PLT station using the time slot. If necessary, the same first RF signal can be transmitted to a plurality of PLT stations by using time slots corresponding to the plurality of stations. This is often referred to as a broadcast message.

  The PLT controller can also allow the PLT station to generate a second (upstream) media signal by designating a specific time slot for the transfer.

  If the first RF signal is destined for a station outside the current network segment, the PLT controller forwards to the PLT controller that forms the rest of the repeater or interlink after extracting the first media signal As such, by using an appropriate time slot, a repeater 50 or PLT station forming part of the interlink 51 can be directed. In this way, downstream media signals will be transferred from one network segment to the next.

  Similarly, a second (upstream) RF signal destined for a station outside a particular network segment is transferred from the PLT controller that forms part of the repeater or interlink to the repeater or interlink PLT station. Is possible. The PLT station can then forward the second RF signal to the PLT controller in the network segment of the PLT station to further forward the second RF signal to its destination.

  According to the communication systems shown in FIGS. 4, 5, 6a and 6b, data can usually be transmitted simultaneously upstream and downstream over the same medium-voltage cable by using different frequency bands. It is. This full (all) duplex broadband service between locations can simultaneously meet various communication needs such as telephone services, video services, Internet services, and other services that require high-speed data transfer.

  Note that within the network segment, as shown in FIG. 5, the distance between the PLT controller 20 and a particular PLT station 30 may be several kilometers depending on the electrical noise conditions. I want to be.

(Implementation of the present invention)
Hereinafter, specific details of the network device, protocol, interface to the link layer, and security issues related to the implementation of the present invention will be described. It should be noted that these details can be changed in various ways without departing from the scope of the present invention. Further, details of such specific implementation are well known to those skilled in the art in view of the details already presented.

(1. Network device)
(1.1 Backhaul router)
As shown in FIGS. 2 a, 2 c, 4, and 5, router 80 provides routing in the backhaul connection (to wide area network 90). Note that if a network segment is connected to one or more other network segments, the network segment need not have a router associated with the PLT controller.

(1.2 Headend Grand Station 40)
As shown in FIG. 2a, the headend ground station 40 is a wireless access point in a translation bridge configuration (eg, IEEE 802.11a access point). Of course, other wireless standards including IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g can be used. This headend ground station provides a low voltage level access mechanism that links to the MV power line without compromising the safety mechanism by making an electrical connection to the MV power line. In the case of a headend ground station that is wirelessly linked to the PLT controller, there are single or dual fiber optic cable ports for connection to the backhaul router. The headend ground station normally supports a network management interface such as SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol).

(1.3 Grand Station 40)
The wireless ground station is an IEEE 802.11x access point with a conversion bridge configuration. The ground station provides a low voltage level access mechanism for linking to the MV power line without compromising the safety mechanism by making an electrical connection to the MV power line. In the case of a ground station that is wirelessly linked to the PLT station, the ground station is linked to the customer premises equipment 57 by using wireless or some other medium. The grand station needs to support a network management interface such as SNMP.

(1.4 PLT controller 20)
As shown in FIG. 2a, the PLT controller 20 links the MV power line network with a wireless access point in the ground station or an upstream network segment station to form a repeater 50 or interlink 51. It is. This receives all upstream traffic transmitted from stations on that segment and transmits all downstream traffic to stations on that segment. This controls access for data transmission by all stations on that segment by controlling the allocation to TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) slots used to carry upstream traffic. Each segment can include one controller and a plurality of PLT stations.

  The PLT controller can be deployed on a three-phase medium pressure feeder in (or near) the substation. Alternatively, it can be deployed on a single-phase or three-phase branch branched from the feed and connected to the backhaul router through a fiber optic cable. In this configuration, the fiber optic cable is placed along the MV feeder and connected to the associated wireless ground station. The PLT controller typically supports a network management interface such as SNMP.

(1.5 PLT station 30)
The PLT station 30 is a conversion bridge that links the power line network to a wireless ground station or another (downstream) segment controller to form an interlink. The wireless station incorporated in the PLT station is a wireless access point and usually works with the ground station access point, but can also support direct cooperation with customer premises equipment (ground station). No connection required). The PLT station receives the data transferred from the controller of the segment, and transmits the data from the radio port to the controller of the segment by, for example, a designated TDMA slot. A PLT station typically supports a network management interface such as SNMP.

(1.6 Repeater 50 and Interlink 51)
As shown in FIG. 3, the repeater 50 is a transparent bridge that receives PLC traffic (communication) and retransmits it in the same direction. This has a PLT station 30 and a PLT controller 20. The repeater receives the power line RF signal, decodes it into a MAC frame, re-encodes it and retransmits it in the same direction. The conversion from analog to digital enables more advanced signal processing. The repeater typically supports a network management interface such as SNMP. The interlink 51 is the same as the repeater 50 except that the RF interference 53 on the MV cable can be avoided.

(2. Signal link)
(2.1 Radio bypass for track defects)
The medium voltage cable may contain defects (failures) for high frequency data transmission, and in order to propagate the high frequency signal further downstream of the medium voltage cable, it is necessary to bypass them. Such faults are bypassed using the interlink. FIG. 7 schematically illustrates a typical radio bypass for channel degradation due to interlinks.

(2.2 Wireless uplink)
The medium voltage cable signal source does not originate on the medium voltage cable. In order to form an end-to-end communication path, a method of transmitting a signal from a signal source (medium source) to a distribution modem is required for modulation and injection onto a medium voltage cable. For example, the media signal may originate from WAN 90 and is conveyed to PLT controller 20 via router 80 as shown in FIG. The radio uplink is also schematically shown in FIG.

(2.3 Wireless downlink)
The destination of the signal on the medium voltage cable does not end on the medium voltage cable. In order to form an end-to-end communication path, a method for transmitting a signal from the distribution modem 62 to a signal destination is required. For example, the downstream media signal modulated by the distribution modem 62 is conveyed to the CPE 52 via the medium voltage cable 502 and then to the remote modem 32 of the PLT station 30 as shown in FIG. . In FIG. 9, the radio downlink is schematically shown.

(Example of underground MV cable)
In the above, in the context of an elevated MV distribution system, a PLC system has been described that provides broadband communication using a medium voltage cable according to the present invention. However, the present invention can also be implemented using an underground MV distribution system or a combination of elevated and underground MV distribution systems. A communication system using an underground MV power cable is schematically shown in FIGS. 10a and 10b. As shown in FIG. 10a, at the headend access point 110, customer premises access point 120, and signal repeating site 130, a ground mounted (Pad) installed transformer 82 is used to convert the modulated RF signal to an MV power cable. Communicate (or receive) from above. A chassis 92 is connected to the transformer 82 in order to process the modulated RF signal. As shown in FIG. 10b, the ground-mounted transformer has a transmit coupler 84 and a receive coupler 86 similar to the couplers 34, 36, 64, and 66 shown in FIG. The chassis 92 includes an analog front end module 94 for processing of modulated RF signals to and from the coupler, at least one power source 72, 74, and an optional backup battery 72 that powers the module 94. . Module 94 functions as a data link between headend access point 110 and customer premises access point 120, as shown in FIG. 10a. FIG. 11 shows further details. The DS2 CPE module 71 uses a chip for modulating / demodulating a medium signal manufactured by DS2 company (DS2 of Valencia, Spain) located in Valencia, Spain. FIG. 12 shows one version of the analog front end, and FIGS. 13a to 13c show another version.

(3. Protocol)
(3.1 Physical layer)
The two wideband physical layer (PHY) coding methods are spread spectrum similar to that in orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) and CDMA / CA (Code Division Multiple Access Avidity Aidance). is there. OFDM can provide significant performance advantages over CDMA because of its relatively large spectral efficiency.

  In either case, additional signal processing is used to improve the effective signal to noise ratio and provide stability in a significant impulse noise environment. In the following, only the OFDM method will be described.

  The PHY layer can be implemented in a manner similar to the HomePlug® standard (or 802.11a standard (OFDM)), which includes logically separate frame control and frame data blocks, respectively. A frame structure with separate transfer error correction coding is included. From the following description, an indication regarding the amount of signal processing applied to improve the effective signal-to-noise ratio can be obtained.

(3.1.1 Transmitter processing)
In the transmitter, a product encoding matrix and a bit interleaver are used in frame control encoding, and frame data is composed of a scrambler, a Reed-Solomon encoder, then a convolutional encoder, a bit. Punk chara and finally pass through the bit interleaver. It is also possible to replace the default bit interleaver with a HomePlug® ROBO interleaver for enhanced stability in high noise environments. According to the ROBO interleaver, quadruple redundancy is further introduced into the encoded data.

  The encoded frame control and frame data bitstream is mapped to an available OFDM carrier in the frequency domain and converted to an analog RF signal in the time domain using inverse fast Fourier transform.

  The modulation scheme includes QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) (e.g., QAM16 to QAM1024), coherent BPSK (Pi-Phase Shit Keying) for frame control bits, and DBPSK (Differential Bi-Phase KingPhSQ) for data bits. (Differential Quadrature-Phase Shift Keying) is included. Coherent BPSK and DBPSK encode one bit per carrier in each symbol. On the other hand, in the case of DQPSK, 2 bits per carrier are encoded in each symbol, but the stability is poor. If allowed by the estimated channel characteristics, more efficient modulation and coding schemes are used. It then dynamically selects the modulation scheme and optimizes communication on a given channel.

(3.1.2 Receiver processing)
At the receiver, the received RF signal is sampled and converted to a digital representation and then mapped to the frequency domain by a fast Fourier transform. The conversion result is converted into a polar representation and demodulated. The frame control symbols are deinterleaved (without intervention) and the product matrix encoding is inverted by the product decoder. The data symbols are deinterleaved, depunctured (not destroyed), and continuously passed through a Viterbi decoder, a Reed-Solomon decoder, and a descrambler.

(3.2 Media Access Control (MAC) layer)
The MAC (Media Access Control) layer has several main functions to be executed, as will be described later.

(3.2.1 Link initialization)
The controller manages the initialization of the PLT network segment. Upon power up, the controller starts a periodic broadcast of invitations to join that segment. When the station receives this join invitation, it returns a join request for the segment in the appropriate upstream slot (designated in the invitation).

  Implement a mechanism to prevent improper associations between stations and controllers in different segments during the initialization process because MAC frames can leak from one network segment to another. The simplest method is to provide the same segment number to both the controller and station before allowing the controller and station to transmit on the power line. Standard MAC procedures intended to prevent the reception of irrelevant segment frames prevent the station from responding to an inappropriate controller and also prevent the controller from accepting an inappropriate station.

  After the station responds to the invitation to join the segment, the controller activates the channel estimation control function described below to evaluate the optimal carrier and modulation for downstream traffic for the station. The station also activates the channel estimation control function to evaluate the optimal carrier and modulation for upstream traffic that it will transmit to the controller.

  The initial communication between the controller and the station uses default carrier choices and modulation schemes selected to maximize the likelihood that each device can receive transmissions from the other, but the channel estimation control function After completion, the carrier and modulation scheme selections can be changed to improve channel efficiency.

(3.2.2 Channel estimation control function)
The channel or connection between the controller and the station may be unique in view of tone (carrier) feasibility and tolerance of various modulation methods. Therefore, a means for detecting channel attributes is required.

  A controller that initializes a new connection to a station, or a station that initializes a new connection to a controller, adds a channel estimation request entry prior to MAC protocol data unit (MPDU) transmission. Upon receiving this request, the receiving entity (controller or station) analyzes the characteristics of the first PHY block to determine the optimal tone and modulation pair for the connection. The receiving entity returns this information to the requester. Upon receiving this channel estimation response, the original requesting entity will change its settings to that recipient until the effective channel estimation timeout expires (or until the connection experiences a predetermined number of errors within the timeout period). Used for all subsequent transmissions.

  For existing connections, upon expiration of the effective channel estimation timeout, a new channel estimation procedure is performed at both the connected controller and station. According to this method, the “sound state” of the connection can be effectively monitored, and optimum data communication can be adapted when the environmental conditions change.

  An initial channel estimation request for a new channel is transmitted from the station using a contention based access slot. Then, the controller responds to this request within the Controller_No_Response timeout period. If a response is not received within this timeout period, the requesting station collects a random backoff count of 1-16, and then requests the channel estimation procedure again for that number of contention slots. Just wait. If the no-response timeout is repeated, the backoff count is taken from the larger count range, but this range is expanded to a maximum of 1-256 with a factor of 2 for each iteration. The Note that a station cannot transmit until it receives synchronization information broadcast from the controller.

  In the case of HomePlug (registered trademark), 128 carriers are distributed over a 20 MHz band, and then 84 carriers are selected from about 4 MHz to 20 MHz to form a channel. Carrier options and modulation schemes are selected after the channel estimation process. These selections are made for each link between each pair of communication nodes on the network.

  In PLT, bandwidths above 20 MHz can be used, but to support the channel hopping necessary to implement repeaters (or to reduce the effects of frame leakage between segments), multiple simultaneous Downstream channels and multiple simultaneous upstream channels will have to be implemented.

(3.2.3 Link upstream synchronization function)
The controller is responsible for realizing an orderly allocation of upstream TDMA slots to ensure fair usage by the required quality of service (QOS) and segment stations.

  Upon initialization, the controller determines that the current number of contentionless TDMA slots, their size in symbols (the only important unit of measure related to time that is independent of the selected modulation scheme is OFDM symbols) ), And start broadcasting a MAC synchronization beacon frame that includes a description of the size of the contention-based access slot that follows the slot without contention. The size of this slot must be large enough to accommodate the PHY block. By concatenating a plurality of slots, it is possible to store packet fragments having a protection time and a local clock skew margin that exceed the worst case round trip propagation time on the segment. A default value may be required, and the controller can measure the round trip propagation time of the segment and broadcast the appropriate slot configuration. The controller broadcasts a new sync beacon at the beginning of each new sequence of slots. Each station receives this controller beacon, delays it for the required number of slot times, and then suspends its transmission until it begins transmission in its assigned slot or contention-based slot.

(3.2.4 Initialization of link upstream access)
A station cannot transmit in a non-contention slot until assigned by the PLT controller. The station initiates the allocation process by requesting a class of service and average bit rate and a slot for the amount of data transmitted. This request is transmitted in contention based access slot time. The controller then attempts to allocate TDMA slots to satisfy this requirement.

  In principle, only the first transmission allocation request from a station has to contend for access. Further requests for ongoing and increased upstream allocation are piggybacked on the current upstream transmission. The allocation expires when the requested amount of data transmission is complete, unless extended. When a station transmits traffic that requires different service classes, separate and simultaneous assignments are required.

(3.2.5 Collision resolution)
Requests for access to the upstream channel by stations in the segment are transmitted in one or more time slots reserved for contention access. A station that has successfully acquired access is notified from the segment controller, and appropriate slot allocation information is assigned. On the other hand, a station that has failed to acquire access detects this by either allocating a slot to another station or by not having an allocation response within the maximum allowable timeout. The station that failed to acquire access recalculates the contention slot number used for the next access request.

  This collision resolution function can use two different mechanisms: (a) a random backoff algorithm and (b) a p-persistent algorithm. In the case of a random exponential backoff algorithm, each time a new access attempt is made, a delay slot to be used is selected by randomly collecting numbers from an increasing delay range. On the other hand, in the case of p-persistent, the probability that a station will request access in the next slot is inversely related to the number of stations in the segment. On average, a random number is generated and evaluated so that only one out of n taken will allow the use of the next contention slot. Both mechanisms are used in the method of the IEEE 802.14 standard.

(3.2.6 Link status function)
The PLT station needs to be able to report regularly about the link status it knows. This can be accomplished by including a field in the MAC header or by having the controller periodically poll the station for the current link status (the preferred method is to link in normal station traffic). This is a way to embed and return status).

(3.2.7 Fragmentation and reassembly of packets)
Long packets are more likely to be affected by noise that causes bit errors than short packets. There is an optimally sized packet that can be transmitted for a given bit error rate. The optimal size packet is also affected by the retransmission mechanism used for error recovery.

  The PLT MAC carries packet data of up to 4096 bytes (note that the maximum packet size should be at least the maximum Ethernet packet size (1504 + VLAN / QOS / MPLS layer 2 extension), but not “jumbo” packets. It can be larger to support, and other ANSI standards specify a larger (4k byte) packet size, so there is a special reason to limit it to the maximum packet size specified by Ethernet Does not exist). Packets longer than 128 bytes are fragmented into 128-byte fragments for transmission (the smaller the fragment, the higher the probability of successful transport in a noisy physical environment). The transport of the MAC layer segment can be configured to be connection-oriented or connectionless.

  In the case of connection-oriented transport, serial numbers are assigned to fragments in order to support reassembly. A unicast fragment that is lost or has an error can be retransmitted. A separate set of fragment numbers is maintained (and assigned a service class) for each source / destination connection. This fragment number is typically 8 bits in length (the minimum useful range of fragment numbers is a function of the maximum MAC frame size and the fragment size). A windowed acknowledge system can be used. The size of the fragment numbered field must be large enough so that the number does not wrap around even in the worst case system delay. The transmission window should be less than half of the maximum fragment sequence number value.

  Repeated transmission affects the TDMA slot allocation algorithm. If the controller determines that a fragment transmitted from a particular station has been lost or damaged, it can adjust the slot assignment for that station and allow repetition without colliding with another assignment. . In the case of automatic repetition of the fragments sent by the controller, the slot allocation algorithm needs to allocate at least another slot after transmission is complete so that the receiving station can recognize the last fragment. The controller then implements a timeout to wait for recognition of the last fragment. Also, the MAC frame needs an indicator called Last_Fragment to notify either the controller or the station that an empty acknowledge frame is needed. Usually, a MAC frame in connection-oriented transmission has a recognition for the latest fragment received with the next fragment.

(3.2.8 Network segment identification)
The basic network building block is a power line segment that includes one controller and one or more stations. Packets of nearby power line network segments may appear on the segment due to leakage along the shared power line conductors or due to capacitive coupling by long parallel line paths of different network segments. Each MAC protocol packet includes a field of locally unique identifiers assigned to the controller that manages the segment. As a result, each station on the segment can identify “irrelevant” packets and reject them (by using repeaters or interlinks so that the signal spans adjacent network segments). Unless you are). The ID is typically globally unique to avoid configuration and installation issues. By default, the controller's PLT MAC address is used as the segment ID. This segment ID field is optional when it is considered that packet leakage between segments is not important.

(3.2.9 MAC addressing)
The MAC address is typically globally unique and 48 bits in length to ensure compatibility with other LAN implementations that support the IEEE 802.2 standard. Smaller addresses can be used, but in this case administrative and configurational to ensure that no two MACs in the same network (ie, all connected segments) have the same address. There will be problems.

(4. MAC service interface for link layer)
The MAC service interface corresponds to the IEEE 802.3 standard. It would be desirable to register an Ethernet frame type for inter-MAC protocol negotiation as in HomeLink®. The MAC supports the IEEE 802.2 standard type I connectionless service for LLC.

(5. Security and privacy)
Security begins at the firewall located at the outer edge of the protected local area network. Once the user traffic crosses the access network, it only has the protection provided by the user's own network (e.g., high level security protocols such as application level encryption or IPSec, or virtual private network). By using a tunneling protocol or SSL protocol). There is no way to protect the access network.

  The power line network is an access network, not a local area network. Thus, this need not provide security for user traffic. The power line network is only part of the path through which user traffic travels as it traverses the wide area network between the source and destination, and therefore, most of this path is usually unprotected.

  To move data between the low-voltage (or near-ground potential) and medium-voltage lines without connecting directly (electrically) to the power line, another medium such as a radio or fiber optic cable is required. is there. The power line network is typically accessed through a ground station that is typically implemented as an IEEE 802.11a wireless access point. In this case, WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), which is an existing 802.11 access security, can be used.

  As much as possible, by enabling WEP and disabling the broadcast system ID at the access point of the present invention, measures can be taken to minimize the possibility of “service theft”. The association with a given wireless network can be controlled, for example, by an authentication process via a remote RADIUS server managed by the owner of the power line network or access point. However, even in this case, the access remains vulnerable to MAC address spoofing. WEP encryption may be 128-bit encryption, and the key can be changed when the number of packets encrypted with a given key exceeds 10,000 to 100,000 packets (WEP 128-bit encryption can be deciphered by examining 1-5 million packets, these packets can be collected within a few hours from an active 802.11b node, and It has already been verified that it can be analyzed in a few minutes on a laptop computer, and 40-bit encryption has the same problem as 128-bit encryption, but this decryption is much easier. ).

  There is the potential for someone to eavesdrop on RF radiation emitted from the power line network using appropriate custom equipment. In this case, however, there is no danger at all, and secure communication between local area networks using high-level protocols remains protected. Such eavesdropping cannot be detected and service theft does not occur. Note that the ability to access PLT frame data using RF radiation means exceptionally advanced technology and access to critical hardware and software resources, and PLT traffic cannot be easily observed. Please note that.

  There is a possibility for someone to install irrelevant equipment on the secondary side of the distribution transformer and access the network using RF leakage through the transformer. To protect against possible service theft, the new node should be authenticated before allowing it to send and receive on the network. This could be implemented by obtaining permission from a remote RADIUS server managed by the owner of the power line network, as in the case of wireless. In this case, the only countermeasure for preventing eavesdropping is encryption of the user payload.

  Encrypting MAC frame payload data at a reasonable level can further increase the level of eavesdropping on traffic on the PLT network (eg, using single DES encryption with 43-bit or 56-bit keys). This encryption may be on a segment basis using a common key within one segment and a different key for each segment. User data is encrypted upon entering the PLT segment and decryption is only possible upon exiting the PLT segment. Repeaters do not encrypt or decrypt frames that pass through, so keys will be shared between segments generated by the insertion of repeaters.

  A PLT segment is a logical network. It has a segment identifier that can be used to reject extraneous MAC frames that could leak into that segment. Optional segment-by-segment encryption of MAC payload data can be provided for privacy or security purposes.

(wrap up)
According to the present invention, the data signal at the first location is transmitted via a wireless link to a high frequency distribution modem residing on a medium voltage cable. This data signal modulates the RF signal at the distribution modem, which is connected to a medium voltage cable that functions as a transmission channel or medium for the modulated RF signal. This high frequency signal is connected at a second location from a medium pressure cable to a demodulator that converts the modulated signal back to a data signal. This data signal is then transmitted for further distribution via the wireless link. Of course, transmission of such a data signal over a wireless link requires some form of modulation of the wireless signal.

  On the other hand, data is usually transmitted from the second location to the first location in a similar manner using different frequency bands. Such a full-duplex broadband service between locations can simultaneously meet various communication needs such as telephone service, video service, Internet service, and other services requiring high-speed data transfer. The MV cable may be an elevated cable (e.g., on a utility pole), but may be placed in another location such as underground.

  All these communications are performed by one or more network segments, each network segment comprising one PLT controller and one or more PLT stations. The PLT controller controls the allocation of all downstream communications to the PLT station and also controls the upstream communications from the PLT station to the PLT controller. Repeaters and interlinks allow communication between network segments. Although the invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments of the invention, those skilled in the art will appreciate these and various other changes in form and detail without departing from the scope of the invention. It will be understood that omissions, omissions, and deviations can be made.

It is the schematic which shows the topology of a medium voltage power distribution system. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating a power line network segment according to the present invention. FIG. It is the schematic which shows a repeater. It is the schematic which shows the communication between a router, a controller, and a wide area network. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram showing a repeater being used to bypass an RF barrier. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating interlinks between network segments in a network topology according to the present invention. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating various communication components within a power line network segment according to the present invention. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram showing a repeater having a plurality of components housed in a computer. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram showing a repeater that physically has separate components to avoid RF interference. It is the schematic which shows the bypass by the radio | wireless of channel deterioration. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating a radio uplink. FIG. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating a radio downlink. It is the schematic which shows the communication system which uses an underground MV cable. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating network components associated with an underground communication system. It is the schematic which shows the electronic box linked | related with the underground communication system. FIG. 2 is a circuit diagram illustrating one version of an analog front end. It is a figure which shows a part of circuit diagram which shows another version of an analog front end. It is a figure which shows another part of a circuit diagram. It is a figure which shows another part of a circuit diagram.

Claims (33)

  1. A communication system for providing broadband communication between a distribution center that cooperates to define a network segment and at least one remote location, wherein a medium voltage (MV) cable of a distribution system is a communication channel (medium) of the network segment In a communication system that functions as
    The communication system comprises a power line communication (PLT) controller and at least one power line communication (PLT) station (30),
    The power line communication (PLT) controller is
    Receiving the first media signal to produce a first (downstream) RF signal modulated by a first (downstream) media signal and second (upstream) to extract a second (upstream) media signal; ) A distribution modem (62) for demodulating an RF signal, which cooperates with the MV cable to connect the MV cable to receive the second (upstream) RF signal on the MV cable; Distribution modem including means (64, 66) excited by (downstream) RF signals;
    A power line communication (PLT) controller module (23) in operative communication with the distribution modem, wherein the first (downstream) media signal is extracted by at least one of the at least one remote location. A PLT controller module comprising means for controlling the generation of a first (downstream) media signal and further comprising means for controlling the production of a second (upstream) media signal at said at least one remote location;
    Each of the power line communication (PLT) stations (30)
    A second modem (32) for demodulating the first (downstream) RF signal to extract the first (downstream) media signal, in cooperation with the MV cable, the first (downstream) A second modem having means (34, 36) for receiving an RF signal and exciting the MV cable with the second (upstream) RF signal;
    A PLT station module (31) operatively communicating with the second modem (32), having means for accepting the signal when the extracted first (downstream) media signal is destined for the PLT station. And a PLT station module further comprising means for generating the second (upstream) media signal for presentation to the second modem for modulation thereof to form the second (upstream) RF signal. ,
    The PLT controller controls the generation of all first (downstream) RF signals for delivery to the at least one PLT station and the second (up) from the at least one PLT station to the PLT controller. Stream) also controls the generation of RF signals,
    A communication system characterized by the above.
  2.   The PLT controller module uses time division multiplexing (TDM) to control generation of the first (downstream) media signal, and the time division multiplexing (TDM) is used to control the second (upstream) media. The communication system according to claim 1, wherein the communication system is also used as a means for controlling generation of a signal.
  3.   The communication system according to claim 1, wherein the PLT controller further comprises a radio transceiver module (27) for receiving and transmitting first and second media signals without using the medium voltage cable.
  4.   And further comprising customer premises equipment (CPE) in the at least one remote location (70), wherein the second modem of the at least one PLT station in the network segment communicates with the customer premises equipment over a radio frequency link. The communication system according to claim 1, further comprising a wireless transceiver module (27) for receiving and transmitting the first and second media signals in between.
  5.   The communication system of claim 4, wherein the radio frequency link of the radio transceiver comprises a radio frequency footprint equivalent to the network segment.
  6.   The communication system of claim 1, further comprising a ground station in communication with the PLT controller for receiving and transferring first and second media signals to and from the PLT controller.
  7.   The communication system according to claim 6, wherein the ground station in communication with the PLT controller further communicates with a router, and the router further communicates with a wide area network.
  8.   8. The communication system of claim 7, wherein at least one of the at least one PLT station further communicates with a customer premises equipment (CPE).
  9.   8. The communication system of claim 7, wherein at least one of the at least one PLT station communicates with a second ground station, and the second ground station communicates with customer premises equipment (CPE).
  10. The communication system is:
    A plurality of further network segments (10a, 10b, 10c ...);
    One or more repeaters (50, 51), each repeater connecting two network segments and transferring the first (downstream) RF from one network segment to another Means for receiving a signal, further comprising means for receiving said second (upstream) RF signal for transfer from said another network segment to said one network segment; One or more repeaters;
    The communication system according to claim 1, comprising:
  11.   The repeater has a PLT station in a first network segment and a PLT controller in a second network segment, and a first (downstream) RF from the first network segment intended for further downstream transfer. A signal comprising means for instructing the PLT station of the repeater to retrieve the first RF signal and forward the first RF signal to the PLT controller of the repeater; The second RF signal of the second network segment intended for transfer is such that the PLT station of the repeater further forwards the second RF signal to the PLT controller of the first network segment. PLT control Communication system according to claim 9, characterized in that further comprising means for instructing the transfer of the first 2RF signal to the PLT station of the repeater La.
  12.   The communication system according to claim 11, wherein the PLT station of the first network segment and the PLT controller of the second network segment forming the repeater are housed in a computer and communicate with each other via the backplane of the computer. .
  13.   Each of the PLT station of the first network segment and the PLT controller of the second network segment forming the repeater (interlink) further includes a radio transceiver module (27), and the PLT station and the PLT controller are configured as described above. The communication system of claim 11, which communicates with each other via a wireless transceiver module.
  14.   12. The PLT station of the first network segment and the PLT controller of the second network segment, further comprising an optical fiber link and forming the repeater (interlink), communicate with each other via the optical fiber link. Communication system.
  15.   A PLT station of the first network segment and a PLT controller of the second network segment, further comprising a conductive link not in electrical contact with the MV cable, forming the repeater (interlink), the PLT controller of the second network segment The communication system according to claim 11, which communicates with each other via a network.
  16.   The communication system of claim 1, further comprising means associated with the PLT controller allowing the communication system to communicate with a wide area network.
  17.   The communication system of claim 16, wherein the means for communicating with a wide area network is a router operatively communicating with the PLT controller.
  18.   The communication system according to claim 17, wherein the router is located away from the PLT controller.
  19.   The communication system of claim 18, wherein the PLT controller and the router communicate with each other by a wireless transceiver module.
  20.   The communication system according to claim 18, wherein the PLT controller and the router communicate with each other via a wired link.
  21.   The communication system according to claim 20, wherein the wired link is an optical fiber link.
  22.   The communication system according to claim 10, wherein the network segment can physically overlap at least a part of the medium voltage cable.
  23.   The communication system according to claim 1, wherein the PLT controller controls generation of an upstream medium signal by a PLT station in the network segment according to a first instruction for controlling allocation of time division multi-access time slots.
  24.   Each adjacent network segment uses a different region of the common physical layer coding scheme for generating the first and second RF signals, and the PLT station of the repeater is the network segment of the PLT controller. Communicating with the PLT controller of the repeater using an encoding scheme, and the PLT controller of the repeater communicating with the PLT station of the repeater using the encoding scheme of the network segment of the PLT station The communication system according to claim 10.
  25.   25. The communication system according to claim 24, wherein the physical layer coding scheme is a time division multi-access time slot for transferring first and second RF signals between the PLT controller and the at least one PLT station.
  26.   25. The communication system according to claim 24, wherein the coding scheme in each network segment further uses a frequency division multiple access scheme.
  27.   27. The communication system according to claim 26, wherein the frequency division multi-access coding scheme is orthogonal frequency division multiplexing.
  28.   The communication system according to claim 24, wherein the physical layer coding scheme is code division multiple access with a collision avoidance function.
  29.   The communication system according to claim 24, wherein the physical layer coding scheme uses a wavelet.
  30.   The communication system according to claim 1, wherein the distribution system includes an underground distribution system.
  31.   The communication system according to claim 1, wherein the power distribution system includes a ground power distribution system.
  32.   The communication system according to claim 1, wherein the power distribution system is a combination of an underground and a ground power distribution system.
  33. A method for providing broadband communication between a distribution center that cooperates to define a network segment and at least one remote location, wherein a medium voltage (MV) cable in a distribution system is connected to the communication channel (medium) of the network segment In the communication method that functions as
    In the distribution center,
    Receiving the first media signal to produce a first (downstream) RF signal modulated by a first (downstream) media signal and second (upstream) to extract a second (upstream) media signal; ) Demodulating the RF signal;
    Exciting the MV cable with the first (downstream) RF signal;
    Receiving the second (upstream) RF signal on the MV cable;
    Controlling the generation of the first (downstream) media signal to cause at least one of the at least one remote location to extract the first (downstream) media signal;
    The at least one remote location of the at least one remote location is instructed to generate the second (upstream) RF signal that includes the second (upstream) media signal. Controlling the generation of a second (upstream) media signal at a remote location,
    At each remote location
    Receiving the first (downstream) RF signal when the first (downstream) RF signal is destined for the remote location;
    Demodulating the first (downstream) RF signal to extract the first (downstream) media signal;
    Generating the second (upstream) media signal;
    Modulating the RF signal with the second media signal to form the second (upstream) RF signal, and exciting the MV cable with the second (upstream) RF signal. Communication method.
JP2004507157A 2002-05-28 2003-05-28 A communication system that provides broadband communication using medium-voltage cables in power systems Pending JP2006505969A (en)

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EP1508210A2 (en) 2005-02-23
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AU2003232434A1 (en) 2003-12-12

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